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Can transcripts create efficiencies and provide accuracy for jurors?

The practice of allowing jurors to take written notes during trial is more widely accepted than it used to be, especially with cases becoming increasingly complex and lengthy in duration. In most (but not all) jurisdictions, whether members of a jury are allowed to take notes will depend upon the judge’s discretion.

Although some judges do not allow notetaking by jurors, when they do, there can be several disadvantages found with the current process.  

Disadvantages of Juror Notes 
  • Incorrect information captured. In the instance of handwritten notes, incorrect information may be written down, or jurors will doodle, and the notepads become a distraction. According to the Winning Litigator, some interesting “artwork” has been found on the notepads collected from mock jurors.  
  • Notes outshine other jurors’ memories. Jurors will attach too much significance to their notes and attach too little significance to their independent memories. Moreover, those who took notes, or those who took the best notes, may dominate jury deliberations.  
  • Focusing on the trivial. There is an assumption that jurors cannot make the distinction between important and trivial evidence. Writing down (and potentially focusing on) every little thing makes it difficult for a jury to reach a rational verdict. 
  • Juror notes do not aid memory. In a review by Springer, juror notetaking was examined in 160 trials. Results do not support the hypotheses that juror notes aid memory or increase satisfaction with the trial or verdict. 

With all the holes found in juror note taking, providing the juror with digital copies of the court transcript could aid in this process. Transcripts can help jurors gain information and view exactly what was said, rather than relying solely on their memory. In turn, making these transcripts available and searchable could benefit the overall process of jury deliberations. Contact us to learn more. 

VIQ Solutions offers legal transcription services and solutions and can assist you with the secure and timely creation of high-quality verbatim legal transcripts for trials, hearings, depositions, mediations and arbitrations. 

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